My family and I stayed at the Best Western Plus Ft. Myers Beach Resort from February 21 to 26. Travelers included me (a mom), my husband, our two kids (3.5 and 1.5), my mother-in-law and father-in-law, and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. We stayed in Room 104 (a suite) and the others stayed in 203 and 207.
Overall, this hotel has a really nice setup for families with young kids. The staff provided a pack n play upon my request and also provided a "coverplay," something I had never seen before: it is a washable cotton and mesh slipcover that goes over the rails and sides of the pack n play, in case your kid, or the kids who came before you, like to bite and chew on the rails. This was an attention to detail that I really appreciated. Having said that, though, I think the pack n play itself could probably stand to be replaced. The mattress pad was really compressed and hard. I folded a blanket and put that between the mattress and the fitted sheet, and it worked just fine. Even better, the hotel has a small swingset right in the main yard / beach area, and my kids loved that. It has one baby bucket swing and two regular swings. There is also a grilling area which made it easier for us to make and enjoy meals all together, since the hotel lacks a restaurant.
Also, I had ordered several packages from diapers.com (microwaveable toddler meals, swim diapers, beach toys, some other toys to keep in the room for quiet time / evening, etc) and the hotel staff was very good about accepting them for us and letting us know when the boxes arrived.
We found the rooms to be impeccably clean and the cleaning staff friendly and accommodating. On our second day, I requested that our room be cleaned at the top of their schedule instead of right at noon (when my kids were napping) and they graciously scheduled our room to be cleaned at 9:15 for the remainder of the trip. The floors were mopped and the beds were changed regularly, and they even washed our sinkfulls of dishes.
Our room (104) had a living room / kitchen area with a pullout couch, a stovetop, a microwave, and a refrigerator. There are two counter-height stools and a nice counter. There is a dresser, a tv, and a coffee table with several large drawers. This room could be improved with the addition of more seating (perhaps an easy chair) or a small dining table with regular-height chairs.
Through a pocket door was the bedroom, which contained two double beds, a dresser, a tv, a night stand, the pack n play, and the bathroom. The beds were very comfortable and there was plenty of room for everything. There is also a large closet with a safe.
The bathroom was large and well-appointed. My only complaint (and this is very minor) is the shower pressure. The shower head must be aerated or something, because the water comes out in very irregular and uncomfortable bursts. It actually stings to stand in the stream. Adjusting the spray didn't really help, as the other options were too diffuse to actually accomplish any rinsing / washing. But this is more a point of personal preference and not a major complaint. The bathroom was also remarkably free from mold and mildew, which is impressive given the humidity at the location. The full-sized bathtub made it easy to wash my kids off at the end of their sandy days. If I could make one change to this bathroom, it would be to replace the shower head with one that has a handheld sprayer option and a gentler stream.
Parents looking to stay at this hotel should keep a few things in mind when requesting a room. We found the location of room 104 to be convenient in that it opened directly onto the back yard area and was immediately behind the pool. This made it easy to retrieve 1,000,000 beach toys and sunglasses throughout the day. However, it can get pretty loud behind the pool during naptime (midday), and if your kids are bothered by noise, you might want to request a room farther down the line, closer to the swingset (my city kids did not mind). Another element of the first-floor rooms is that you cannot open your windows, so at night you have to choose hot and sweaty room air or overpowering air conditioning. Upstairs, the rooms have private balconies and guests can sleep with their sliding glass doors open. They can also lay their bathing suits out to dry on their balconies, and this is tricker on the first floor. So, if you like to sleep with the windows open to hear the ocean and get the fresh air, sleep upstairs. There is an elevator, so having a room upstairs with kids and a stroller would not be too bad. I'm not sure if there are suites upstairs, though.
A few other family-friendly items: the free breakfast is quite extensive considering the hotel does not have a restaurant. There are hot Jimmy Dean sandwiches, a waffle station, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, baked goods, and really decent coffee. There is also a very entertaining parrot named Coco who all the kids enjoyed (and the adults did, too). There is also a coin-operated laundry room on the third floor -- I only wish I had realized this on our first day! It makes traveling with kids a lot easier if you can do a wash midweek.
We did not explore the surrounding town too much -- just a few quick errands and one meal out with my brother- and sister-in-law while the grandparents babysat. There are plenty of restaurants and bars, and small beachwear shops. We did rent a car, but ended up only using it to get from the airport to the hotel and back. It may have made more sense to use a car service for those two trips.
If you are looking for a family vacation where you and the other adults are providing most of the entertainment to the kids, then this is a good choice. The hotel is directly on the beach and you have pretty much everything you need.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Come discover the BEST WESTERN PLUS Fort Myers Beach Resort Hotel, located in the city of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Our resort is located directly on a secluded beach at the north end of Estero Island overlooking the Gulf of Mexico where fiery sunsets will leave you spellbound. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus Beach Hotel Fort Myers Beach
- Best Western Beach Hotel
- Best Western Fort Myers Beach
- Fort Myers Beach Best Western